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Keren (Ge'ez: ከረን Arabic: كرن‎ or كيرين), formerly known as Cheren and Sanhit,[1] is the second-largest city in Eritrea. It is situated around 91 kilometres (57 mi) northwest of Asmara at an elevation of 1,390 metres (4,560 ft) above sea-level. The town sprawls on a wide basin surrounded by granitic mountains on all sides. It serves as the capital of the Anseba region, and is home to the Bilen people.

Keren
كرن

ከረን
City
Skyline of Keren كرن
Keren كرن is located in Eritrea
Keren كرن
Keren
كرن
Location in Eritrea
Coordinates: 15°46′40″N 38°27′29″E / 15.77778°N 38.45806°E / 15.77778; 38.45806Coordinates: 15°46′40″N 38°27′29″E / 15.77778°N 38.45806°E / 15.77778; 38.45806
CountryEritrea
RegionAnseba
DistrictKeren
Elevation
1,590 m (5,220 ft)
Population
 (2012)
 • City82,198
 • Metro
146,483

Contents

HistoryEdit

Keren grew around the Eritrean Railway to Asmara. The railway was later dismantled because of the war, although there are plans to rebuild it. It is an important commercial centre and was the scene of regular battles in both World War II and the Eritrean War of Independence. Keren was the site of a key battle between Italian and British troops in February – March 1941.

DemographicsEdit

As of 2010, Keren has a population of around 146,483 inhabitants. Residents belong to various, mainly Afroasiatic-speaking ethnic groups, of which the Bilen people and Tigre people are predominant. The Tigrigna also have a presence.

ClimateEdit

Keren has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh), with two main seasons. There is a short monsoonal wet season from June to September and a length dry season covering the rest of the year. Vis-à-vis most hot semi-arid climates in northern Africa like those of Niamey or N'Djamena, Keren's climate is much less extreme due to the city's higher altitude. Nonetheless, in the period between March and mid-June immediately before the wet season begins, afternoon temperatures still average over 33.1 °C (92 °F) for around four months. Following the wet season, temperatures remain very warm to hot during the day, but during the mornings become comfortably cool.

Climate data for Keren
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.4
(83.1)
29.5
(85.1)
31.3
(88.3)
33.5
(92.3)
34.6
(94.3)
33.1
(91.6)
28.9
(84.0)
27.6
(81.7)
30.4
(86.7)
31.4
(88.5)
29.8
(85.6)
28.8
(83.8)
30.6
(87.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
13.1
(55.6)
15.1
(59.2)
16.8
(62.2)
17.9
(64.2)
17.8
(64.0)
17.6
(63.7)
17.1
(62.8)
16.1
(61.0)
15.9
(60.6)
15.0
(59.0)
13.6
(56.5)
15.7
(60.3)
Average low °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
7.7
(45.9)
8.8
(47.8)
10.5
(50.9)
12.2
(54.0)
14.4
(57.9)
16.6
(61.9)
16.1
(61.0)
13.8
(56.8)
11.6
(52.9)
9.4
(48.9)
8.3
(46.9)
11.4
(52.5)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
3
(0.1)
14
(0.6)
27
(1.1)
44
(1.7)
119
(4.7)
142
(5.6)
42
(1.7)
11
(0.4)
6
(0.2)
1
(0.0)
411
(16.1)
Source: Climate-Data[2]

AttractionsEdit

 
Restaurant Fickri & Selam on Giro Fiori in Keren.

Attractions in the city include the nineteenth century Tigu Egyptian fort, the St Maryam Deari chapel, lying in a baobab tree, the 1920s former railway station, the old mosque, Sayed Bakri Mausoleum, British Army and Italian Army cemeteries and local markets. The nearby sixth century Debre Sina monastery is also known for its cave dwellings.

DistrictsEdit

The town's outlying subregions include:

Sister citiesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Shinn, David & al. "Hewitt Treaty" in the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 214.
  2. ^ "Climate-Data : Eritrea". Retrieved 11 July 2013.

Further readingEdit